We get a lot of questions about the technology behind Seshat: Global History Databank. The Databank sits atop a cutting-edge digital infrastructure designed specifically to store, organize, curate, and analyze complex multi-dimensional information; the sort of information we deal with as part of our historical research at Seshat. The infrastructure system is called Dacura. Dacura was built by scholars at Trinity-College Dublin and is led by Seshat Coordinator Dr. Kevin Feeney.
Work on Dacura was supported by a large grant from the European Union for a project titled ALIGNED, which seeks to develop innovative solutions for building and maintaining systems for using big data on the web. Seshat is one of the initial use-cases of the Dacura infrastructure and recently the ALIGNED team released a webinar on the platform. The Dacura webinar provides an end-to-end overview of how Dacura has helped Seshat: Global History Databank build our dataset and improve the way we gather and analyze data. With the help of the ALIGNED team, we have begun to migrate from the somewhat clunky Wiki-based system we began the Databank with into Dacura’s more powerful, functional, and flexible graph-based system. The first step in this migration is reflected in the recent release of our first public dataset. To learn more about how Dacura tools have helped the Seshat project, view the recent webinar: